“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done” Psalm 105:1
Imagine that you have a friend who has been in trouble at work because of lateness. You know they are often late because, when you leave for work in the morning, you see their car is still in the driveway even though they start work 30 minutes before you. One day your friend confides in you and shares that their boss has threatened to fire them. You know your friend was previously given warnings, fines and even a suspension, but it seems the boss has had enough. Your friend adds that their life would become horrible if fired. In addition to losing their home, they stated their spouse warned they would leave with the children. You listened empathetically and even offered some tips to early rising. Although the friend heard your comments, they ended the conversation with, “it was not their fault, the world was against them, they were a good person, and why should they lose everything because of some poor choices?”
The following week, as you leave for work, you look towards your friend’s driveway and are relieved to see it empty. You are pleased they heeded the boss’s warning. However, one morning, as you head off to work, you notice their car is still in the driveway, but you are not alarmed. There is still time for them to get to work on time. You are leaving early because of the violent storm the previous evening. You anticipate debris in your workplace, and so you want to get an early start on the cleanup. As you turn the last corner before crossing the bridge, you see flashing lights. The bridge has washed out during the storm. There are emergency lights and crew on the other side of the missing bridge but not on yours. You decide that, before emergency services arrive, you will stop and warn others of the danger. As you prepare to set up your roadblock, you hear screeching of tires. When you look in the direction of the sound, you notice your neighbour’s cars speeding down the hill towards the bridge. Your friend is trying to make sure they are not late. As you watch the car, you recall the distress they expressed regarding the consequences of their next lateness. You imagine their panic and worry as they race down the hill. You also remember that they stated, with bitterness, how others were to blame for their troubles. You now have your dilemma. If you stop your friend and warn them about the bridge, they will undoubtedly be late and will more than likely blame you for losing their job. If you don’t stop them, they will fly off the bridge into the river below and die.
You ask yourself, “Why should you be held responsible for them losing their job, their family, and their home?” What do you do? As they get closer, you must decide whether you are going to step in front of them or whether you are going to step aside?
God often puts us in the path of people whose lifestyle and choices are leading them to eternal ruin. We know the consequences of their actions. We can choose to step aside and let them continue their way, believing or hoping that someone else will tell them. Or, we can step in front of them and also choose to stand beside them to share the simple truth about Jesus’ love for them. Pray the Holy Spirit helps when you are faced with these kinds of decisions. Pray, we do not let anyone fly off the bridge.